CHINA’S State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) has issued a directive banning Lady Gaga in all forms of media, including television channels, radio stations, and music download websites, reported local media.
The order came about on Monday following the pop singer’s Sunday meeting with the Dalai Lama at the United States Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they discussed “the power of kindness and how to make the world a more compassionate place” during a Facebook Live chat and panel discussion.
Lady Gaga shared several photos of the meeting to her social media accounts, but for Beijing and the pop singer’s fans in China, all they saw was red.
On all her Instagram posts featuring the Dalai Lama, sentiments from Chinese fans ranged from disappointment to outright anger.
User silafuzhiyehe: “Cheated about Tibet, you don’t know the reality.”
User ghostyyep: “Not cool and meaningful at all. Gaga, I know you are trying to do things meaningful, but this is not just love and peace, it is part of our Chinese pride. Really disappointed.”
User yanweihan1991: “Maybe in your mind he is a fighter for freedom, while in Chinese people’s mind, Dalai is a person who is just like a terrorist.”
User wex_topsuger: “You don’t know what this picture can mean, but if you trust your Chinese fans, you should delete this.”
In light of the ban, the Publicity Department of China said:
“We need to fight against any propaganda fanning the flames of Tibet independence movement.”
The Chinese government frequently vilifies Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, believing him to be at the heart of region’s separatist movement, even though he now says he espouses a “middle way” with China, seeking autonomy for Tibet, rather than independence.
Chinese officials also regularly issue warnings to celebrities and politicians seen meeting with the Dalai Lama, telling them to be aware of his “nefarious motives”.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday that the purpose of the Dalai Lama’s travels is to “promote his proposal for Tibetan independence”, adding that China would like people to be aware of “his true colors and nature”.
But for Lady Gaga, who has yet to hold a concert in mainland China, this isn’t the first time she’s faced censorship from the Chinese government. In 2011, after the release of her album Born This Way, she was placed on the country’s list of banned artists for “creating confusion in the order of the online music market, and damaging the nation’s cultural security”.
However, the ban – which was eventually lifted in 2014 – did not stop her fans from illegally downloading her albums online or buying pirated copies.
Additional reporting by Associated Press